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Top Chef: All-Stars – Ep 5 – “Everyone Sucked and Everything Sucked”


Quickfire – The Chefs have to cook a meal in the same amount of time as Tom cooks one. Tom totally rocked. He was fluid and skilled. Watching him cook was like watching a master at any skill in action – simply fascinating and mesmerizing. And the chefs were having a ball – even complementing him on style. He opened those clams like a ninja, or as Mike said, just like back at the Jersey Shore (not that one!). The funniest part was Tom tossing his bass into a bin next to Padma and having it all tumble to the floor. And Padma didn’t even flinch!

That relates to one of the smartest moves you’ll ever see. When the clock started, all but one of the chefs flew to the fridge to get their proteins. All but Marcel. He wisely went the other way and grabbed Tom’s bass (hey now, dirty minds!), and used that for his protein. Such a good move, I can’t praise it enough. He didn’t win, but it was not for lack of strategy.

The chefs are told – no cheating. So no tartar dishes. Of course, Angelo thinks this means he can do a tartar dish, but a crudo technique should take care of things. NOT! Blais goes for foie gras – quick but high difficulty. Dale tries to make noodles, but needs a wok. Jamie makes some sort of sex joke, before failing to open her clams (insert your own sex joke here). Mike reminds us of his experience cooking under pressure in short time.

Tom – Black Sea Bass with Clams, Tomato and Zucchini

Antonia – Seared Ahi Tuna, Tarragon and Fresh Tomato Salad

Blais – Foie Gras Roasted with Aromatics, Corn, Fresh Coriander and Port. Padma thinks it was tasty, and I think it looked delicious.

SF Tiff – New England Clam Chowder with Celery and Cream.

Fabio – Clams, Fish, Zucchini, Tomato Broth, Thyme and Garlic – Tom noticed some familiar ingredients.

Angelo – Yuzu Branzino Crudo with Jalapeno and Cilantro. Tom is a bit surprised to see that Angelo completely ignored his instructions about making raw food.

DC Tiff – Pan Seared Bass with Tomato Relish, Olives and Capers. Mmm, looks good.

Tre – Grilled Beef Tenderloin, Seared Foie Gras with Mushrooms and Brandy Sauce. Looks good, except for those shrooms.

Carla – Shrimp with Mango, Cilantro and Mint. Another yummy looking dish!

Dale – Pad Thai with Egg Noodles…or should I say, noodle.

Casey – Spice Rubbed Filet with Fresh Tomato Relish

Marcel – Black Sea Bass with Dashi Broth, Bok Choy, and Chili Oil. Tom was very impressed with Marcel’s plan.

Mike – Pan Roasted Branzino with Black Olive and Caper Stew. This looked rather good, even though Marcel seems to think his delicious taste lingered over into Mike’s.

Jamie – Clam Amuse Bouche with Bacon, Tomato and Cream. Got to give her credit for creatively making it an “amuse bouche” to cover for the fact that only one of her clams managed to open in time.

Tom picks Dale (bold, but no actual dish), Jamie (more clams in the pot than on the plate), and Angelo (broke the rules) for his easy bottom three. The winners were Mike (great flavors), Blais (impressed he actually made a sauce), and Marcel (Dashi in 8 minutes is a feat).

Mike gets the win, immunity and a brand new Toyota Prius. Jealous. That’s one of two cars I am debating purchasing this month. Just can’t reconcile the lack of space, but boy, that drives a lot better than you would imagine.

Elimination – Do a lunch rush for a Dim Sum restaurant. Marcel points out the obvious that going to Chinatown is like going to China because there are Chinese people speaking Chinese. Not sure how I can write another sentence that uses derivations on the word China more than I just did.


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